Friday, April 04, 2014

Under The Gunn Ep 12: Marvelous Runway

So, here we are at the last challenge; the one that will decide which three get to show at The Tents. Sidenote: I know I’ve been saying The Tents, but there are no Tents, it’s a theater stage, but I like saying The Tents! So there.

Anyhoo, the show begins and we get Sad Sam, feeling, as he says, a sense of malaise, so Cynical Bob just knows that we are going to get a Sam Story this week, a mini-Lifetime movie, but, hey, it’s TV and that’s what they do. We also get a bit of the Uh oh, Nick and Anya only have one designer each and if Oscar or Shan gets eliminated, Nick and Anya go, too. Which you just know means Oscar and Shan will go 1-2 this week.

Still, the designtestants and Tim meet up at meltdown Comics to speak with Cort Lane, the Vice president of Animation for Marvel Television. Comic books; this week will be comic books.  Tim tells the designers that they will be designing a superhero inspired look that cannot, should not shall not, must not, be a costume. Y’hear that Oscar? Put down the capes!

The designtestants have to choose from four Marvel comic book heroes, Hawkeye, who has no superpower, but he’s a sarcastic marksman; I immediately identify with Hawkeye. Then we have Captain Marvel, who, apparently, is an alcoholic amnesiac, from what I gathered so, um, yeah … huh? Falcon is the first African-American superhero and he has man-made wings. [Sidenote: he’s played in the movies by the oh-so-cute Anthony Mackie. Sidenote over] And last we have Gamora, though not as Sodom and, but as in assassin.

The designtestants have two days and $250 for this challenge, so let’s all pray Oscar doesn’t do a cape and then let’s rip ….
Tim gives Nick props because, now, finally, with just one designer left, Nick has apparently learned how to mentor.
He doesn’t tell Oscar what to do, he simply let’s Oscar be Oscar. Unless there’s a cape coming.

He keeps telling us that he won’t be doing a cape or a gown, but will focus on a jacket and pants, something he hasn’t done before. But then he begins to second guess his suit idea, although it has an open back and sleeves, and, quicker than you can say LIZA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A, he’s made a cloak, which is like a cape only it has a different name.
Still, I will Oscar props for this description of the challenge:
This is like pirates fighting with The Hunger Games style with scissors and fabrics. I mean this is Iraq. This is the Chernobyl bomb. This is intense.
No wonder his clothes are so dramatic, it’s in his blood.

It looks very superhero. I love it!

It’s well-made, as always, and flashy and fun, but it looks too much like a costume, and the flyway sleeves on the jacket are just odd.

Zanna Roberts Rassi said Oscar’s superpower was construction and sewing, but she would have liked it without the cape-cloak because it looked a bit costume-y. Rachel Roy agreed that is was beautifully made but said maybe she missed the memo about the Halloween Costume Party; but then how do we explain that she came to the UTG dressed a s Ali McGraw from Love Story? Jen Rade called it a good combo or superhero meets badass bitch, and Jaime Alexander said it was high fashion and she would love to wear it. Sidenote: Jaime Alexander has been featured on this here bloggy’s WTF feature HERE.
Anya doesn’t so much mentor as she does give subtle clues and praise this week. I get less mentor from her and more Life Coach because she delivers platitudes and sentiments and feelings, and not a great deal of criticism … unless you remember the week she made Blake cry.

SHAN—Captain Marvel
Pants or a dress; dress or pants. Shan is lost; he hasn’t a clue. But he’s learned one thing through this process: buy as much fabric as you can because if you f**k it up, you’ll at least have extra fabrics to try again. And that might come in handy because he has nothing to show Anya or Tim during the critique; no dress, or pants, and not even a sketch. If only he could open up his head and show them what he’s thinking … because all he has is shredded leather pieces and some camouflage knit.
Yes, I said camouflage knit.

I love the way the fringes are flowing on the skirt. I love the way you see the camouflage detail underneath. I’m feeling pretty good at this point.

This is my favorite because it reads superhero, but also fashion; it’s edgy and cool and tough.

Jen Rade called it modern gladiator, while Rachel Roy loved the structure and the good print, while she adjusted her head scarf that Ali McGraw wore in Love Story. Zanna Roberts Rassi called it sexy, cool, edgy and editorial, while Jaime Alexander liked the versatility of it — apparently the bottom skirt comes off or something?
I kinda like Mondo’s style of mentoring because he lets his team work through their own process of coming up with the design, but then really nails them when they begin to mess up, a la Asha’s construction issues — which still makes me giggle when I remember how much she dogged Natalia over the same thing.

She decides that, since this is the last challenge before The Tents, she’ll try something she’s never done before: pants and chiffon. She’ll make utilitarian pants and a gown-esque chiffon top to play up the hard and soft aspect of the superhero. Bold move, especially since she isn’t good at building the look as much as she is creating the image of the look.
As the runway approaches Asha is a twittering twitching hot mess, and running wild in the workroom. So much so that Mondo keeps telling her to calm down before she ruins her look. That almost happens because one of her zippers breaks and, last seconds she sews her model into the pants, hoping they’ll stay on, on the runway,

When my look comes down the runway it is absolutely gorgeous and it is beautifully executed.

I laughed at “beautifully executed” and thought of the zipper issues, but I loved the flowing top, even the mullet back because they looked like wings. I did not like — and wished she’d been called out for it — the idea that she co-opted Shan’s pants from the Steampunk challenge into this look.

Zanna Roberts Rassi loved the drama of the mullet-gown-top-cape piece and the hardness of the leather pants but wished there was more. Rachel Roy called it timeless luxury, akin to coming to the show dressed as Ali McGraw from Love Story. Jen Rade noted that the construction as much better this week, and Jaime Alexander liked the idea, the grace of the idea, and the flow, but missed the powerful edge — this is where I thought that, had Asha made a leather top and a chiffon bottom, it might have worked better … but that’s just me.

As I said, this week we have Sad Sam; Sam who picked Hawkeye because of his snark and sarcasm, which I call snarkasm; Sam feels a bit of a kinship with that idea. But then, as other designers work, Sam sits in the lounge, a la Isabelle with her Starbucks, and reads the comic book, and thinks and speaks.
Sam was bullied as a child, and perhaps identifies with the idea of a superhero protector — though he says he wasn’t as interested in being a superhero as he was in being Britney Spears — who might have been able to withstand the taunts and jabs of mean kids.
But, as happens with bullying victims, Sam also attempted suicide twice, the last time feeling saved only because he heard his mother calling his name. That’s got to be a moment that plays out in your head all the time, the What if … But, this is Under the Gunn, not my soapbox for stronger anti-bullying measures, so I’ll return to regular scheduled snarking.
He has chosen nearly every kind of print imaginable, which some might think crazy, but I really like; and Tim, upon seeing, and hearing, Sam’s ideas is quite impressed, even if it is risky. Plus, we get shots of Sam painting his fabrics again, but no real clue as to what or why.

I love my look. I put what I was feeling into this garment. I think it’s got the rebellious side where the darkness comes from.

I liked the mix of fabrics — though I was confused by the straps — and I didn’t get the painted splotch on the back of the top, until Sam explained that it’s kind of the darkness we all carry, that we sometimes try to hide.

Rachel Roy called it mundane; this from a woman who came to the show dressed as Ali McGraw from Love Story?  Zanna Roberts Rassi said it was so close, but turned out to be nothing, and this is where Sam explains his ideas and the look, and the dark spot. Jen Rade, tough as nails, bitchy and sarcastic Jen Rade, tears up and understands Sam now, and is glad he always stuck to his aesthetic no matter the challenge. Jaime Alexander called it fun and vibrant and loved the black splotch, saying it was like wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Well, everyone agrees that Oscar and Shan should move on to the The Tents, so it comes down to the two left on Mondo’s team.

I’m shocked! I’m stunned! I knew it!

Jen wants Sam because he has a strong POV, while Rachel wants Asha because she has good ideas. Zanna said Sam hadn’t been very interesting until this runway, but she wants Asha and Jaime Alexander picks Sam.

What to do, what to do. It’s a tie.

Oscar and Shan and Sam and Asha will all show.
Cynical Bob notes that we are getting the Bullied As A Child edit for Sam, and while I feel compassion — I was, quelle surprise, bullied as a child, too, for being gay or allegedly being gay or seemingly gay or not being able to climb the rope in gym class or whatever — I get annoyed by these maudlin attempts by the PR, and now the UTG, to make us feel. I watch for the creativity, and the ability to take an idea, a spark, and make something, even something awful, out of it. 

I get that it’s a great spot to talk about bullying—and the Trevor Project link at the end was needed—but sometimes I think these shows try to get us to root for someone simply based on their back-story. I mean, Sam has been given the Pissy Little Bitch edit, too — though maybe that was just me — but that doesn't mean you turn on the Sad Story to get people to root for him.

I like the designers who create cool things on the spur of the moment with little sleep, no cash, and hardly any time.

Speaking of which, Shan got the Stumbling, Can’t Decide, What Do I Do, Let Me Talk To My Wife edit which usually means the person is going home, but, yes, that was another attempt at Emotion Stirring.

I agreed with Shan that the idea was to cut designers and someone should have been cut. And based on the season, and based on the fact that I think Asha stole Shan’s pants, I would have sent her packing and let Oscar and Shan and Sam show.

What did YOU think?

1 comment:

the dogs' mother said...

Oscar's sleeves make me feel cold. I would need to wrap my cape, er, cloak around me.
We were not surprised by Shan's outfit - as usual he comes thru.
Spent most of my time worried about Sam's models hair - can they get all that out? Super heroes don't have that much time for hair...
I agree with Sam going and Asha aufed. Knew every mentor would have a designtestant.